The day we returned to New Zealand from Switzerland, an old family friend died. I was the executor of the estate, so she must have had some trust in me. I had not seen her for nearly three years, but I did go to her funeral. At the funeral we were given a packet of wildflower seeds, but somehow I never had the opportunity to sow those wildflowers. We were always living in temporary accommodation with no space for even a small stand of wildflowers.
When we moved into the vicarage in Papanui, I thought that these wildflowers may just fit the bill for that strip of bare soil along the fence. So I sowed the seeds along the fence and supplemented them with a packet purchased at a nearby home improvement centre. I don’t know what it was—the soil, my sowing, the birds, or the weather, but mainly one species flourished: the purple tansy. There is a cornflower here and a poppy there, but our garden is mainly framed by the lacy flowers of the purple tansy.
Every time I go to the clothes line I can smell the flowers. I can hear the bees buzzing from flower to flower collecting nectar and pollen. Apparently, the purple tansy is known for attracting beneficial insects. The children respect the bees and like to observe them, so there is little danger there. My daughter thinks that her father must really like bees to have given them such a paradise.
We had a little success in our veggie garden this year, but I also get satisfaction out of the wildflowers. This is a different harvest, one for our senses and for the bees of the neighbourhood. Like all harvests it came to fruition through a combination of the work of human hand, the more or less predictable cycles of nature, and the blessing of God.
And it is a gift for which I give thanks.
Blessings – Tim